Multiple Car Accidents
There are many different types of car accidents. Most car accidents involve two vehicles. However, multiple car accidents also occur frequently. Multiple car accidents or chain reaction accidents are increasing in frequency based on the increase of traffic and expansion of lanes on highways. These accidents raise complicated issues regarding fault. Additionally, the high impact nature of these accidents results in significant physical injuries. As such, these accidents clearly result in substantial medical bills, lost income, potential disability, and pain and suffering. The experienced attorneys at Slatter Law Firm will aggressively fight to recover the maximum compensation for your injuries.
In large cities, such as Los Angeles, highways are being expanded with more lanes on a seemingly constant basis. This expansion has coincided with an increase in traffic. This level of traffic has resulted in more multiple car accidents. These accidents are typically the result of a chain reaction. For example, if a driver is speeding or tailgating and collides with a front vehicle, the rear vehicle may also crash into the speeding or tailgating car. These chain reaction accidents are caused by various factors. Some of the most common causes are tailgating; speeding; fatigue; distracted driving; intoxication; slick or slippery roads; and cell phone use.
- The other driver(s) breached their duty of care (e.g. distracted driving, speeding, tailgating.); and
- This breach was the legal cause of your injuries and damages.
Multiple vehicle accidents raise several issues regarding fault. Generally, the rear vehicle is at-fault for these accidents. However, in most cases, each driver bears a degree of fault. If a driver’s actions or failure to act is a substantial factor in the accident and your injuries, the driver is at-fault. Substantial factor for the accident is defined as contributing the accident and resulting injuries. The conduct cannot be trivial, and need not be the only cause. As such, any driver that contributes to your accident is at-fault and responsible for paying for the injuries and damages. Therefore, two or more drivers may be at-fault for your injuries.
Regarding apportionment of fault, California follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. In other words, compensation for your injuries will be deducted by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were awarded damages of $100,000 and were found to be 10 percent at-fault for the accident, then your compensation will be reduced to $90,000. As such, the insurance attorneys will likely argue that your actions contributed to the accident, and that you bear a greater percentage of fault than other drivers. These accidents clearly raise complicated legal issues that can be obstacles to recovering compensation for your injuries. Therefore, it is important that you hire an experienced accident attorney, who can rebut these arguments and aggressively negotiate with insurance companies and their attorneys.
Finally, California requires injured victims from these accidents to file timely lawsuits. The law requires you to file a lawsuit within two years from the date of the accident. If your lawsuit is not timely, the Court will prevent you from recovering any compensation for your injuries. Therefore, you should immediately consult an experienced accident attorney after your accident.